Sunday service, Dietmar Joosten, 14 Jan 2018
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
If you have parents, look after them. That’s the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you meet and experience this Child, ecstatic joy shall fill your heart. Great thankfulness will fill your heart. There will be no finding of fault. Is your life known by this? A life that is filled with the joy from above, where the burden is lifted?
Maybe God has spoken to you, but you haven’t taken the steps He expects from you. These wise men from the East grasped a mystery. They knew something important was happening. They were not even related to the children of Israel but somehow they grasped this mystery.
These people came to Jerusalem with great expectation, but they met up with Herod and the religious leaders who were hypocrites. They knew the Word of God, and even where the Christ was to be born. But these religious leaders would not go themselves.
People might come to your house for help, because they have heard that the Christ Child was there, but when they observe how you live they are bitterly disappointed. The children disrespect their parents and the wife knows better than the husband. The sons and daughters dress like the world and watch the videos of the world. But that is not what the Lord Jesus had taught us. That is not what Jesus came for, that we should live like that.
You cannot serve two masters. You will either love the one and hate the other (Matt 6:24).
2Tim 3:5, “having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people”
If you claim to have met the Christ-child, but your life hasn’t changed you are lying. Your cannot live in one way while your mouth speaks in another way. God cannot stand such a life.
Is there still sin in your life? Are there things you have been hiding from the light. Slowly but surely it will harden your heart. That is why it is so important that you allow the Lord Jesus to change your heart. Keep and guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the springs of life (Prov 4:23).
Be honest with yourself. What is it like in your heart? Think of Absalom. God had chosen his father David, a man after God’s heart. Does your heart beat for the Lord Jesus? Do you do everything for Him? Absalom had a different idea. He didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps. He grabbed the attention of the people and tried to win them over. He thought he could do better. That is the problem of many young people, that they think they know better than their parents.
In Matthew we read of a child that Jesus rose from the dead. The people were crying and lamenting, but Jesus told them that she was just sleeping. When the people heard what He said they mocked, knowing that the girl was dead. But that is where Jesus comes in. He sees things differently to how we see it. That is the danger with us. We so easily see things contrary to how the Lord sees things. And the Lord had to chase everyone out of the room, before He could raise the girl to life. Will the Lord Jesus have to chase you out because you do not see things the way He sees it?
Does the “I” still rule in your life? Do you only have the form of godliness without the power of God in your life? What holds you back from following the instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ? Is your life a Bethlehem. When people visit you, do they thank the Lord for you and your family. Or are they relieved when they leave? Is it too much a price to pay? Our Father in Heaven gave His best, His Son, for us. Guard your heart. Live in the light, and the Herod’s of this world will not have power over you.